2011 Harvest Update

The weather was mild, but, for the most part, dry this week.  Tuesday was overcast and the nighttime lows dipped into the 30’s.  We saw very little sugar accumulation in the few vineyards left to pick, but the mountain vineyards were the exception.  We even called for a small irrigation in one of the vineyards and saw the sugar increase afterwards.

In Alexander Valley, we crushed 54 tons of steep hillside fruit from Cloverdale and 14 tons of hillside fruit to complete harvest on Friday, October 28th.  It has been a long campaign and we are very happy to see that last cluster.  The crew continues to press tanks as they go dry and the tannins smooth out.

In Oakville at our Napa Valley winery, we had a complex week with many medium to small lots.  We finished up Soda Canyon Ranch with one lot of Cabernet Franc and one mixed lot of Cabernet Sauvignon.  We started picking our Jump Rock Ranch on Atlas Peak and will finish on Saturday.  The fruit has continued to ripen beautifully there and we are very excited about the wines from this special property.  We also crushed Cabernet Sauvignon from another Atlas Peak property.  Pressing has slowed down as we are going with longer macerations with this cooler vintage, but we will resume next week.  We are expecting our last fruit on Tuesday of next week.    

This has been a long and challenging harvest and we are happy to be done in Alexander Valley and close to completion in Oakville.  I continue to be excited by the wines.  They will be edgier than we are used to, but they will have their own unique character that will be an expression of the 2011 season.  

Daniel Baron, Director of Winemaking